SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

From the People to the Populist? Culture of Democracy in the Taiwanese Public Sphere

Professor Ming-cheng Lo

Date: 2 July 2019Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 2 July 2019Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Talk


With the rise of populism around the world in recent years, the young democracy in Taiwan faces new challenges, as has been evidenced by the 2018 midterm elections on the island. It has been well argued that macro contexts in the region, most notably the “China factor,” shape how the global trend of populism is manifested and experienced in Taiwan. But is the local public sphere equipped with the cultural resources to resist the threats of populism? Informed by theories of civil society, this study explores the strengths and weaknesses of the culture of democracy that has been developing in the Taiwanese public sphere, focusing specifically on how these cultural traits may nurture or suppress populism. 

Speaker Biography

LMC Profile

Ming-Cheng Miriam Lo is professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis. Having grown up in Taiwan and completed her doctoral training in the United States, Professor Lo is actively engaged in research activities in Asia as well as the English-speaking world, meanwhile pursuing productive conversations across these cultural divides. She is the author of Doctors within Borders: Profession, Ethnicity, and Modernity in Colonial Taiwan (University of California Press, 2002; Japanese edition published in 2014). She co-edited the Handbook of Cultural Sociology (Routledge, 2010; Second edition published in 2019). Professor Lo has published widely on health, culture, and civil society in a number of sociology journals.

* All SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies are free and open to all to attend. We suggest you arrive a few minutes early at the venue to secure your seat.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

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